Monday, August 26, 2013

Summer Hike at the Gorge

Who doesn't like a hike at the Red River Gorge?
Well, aside from the goofy picture we all had a blast. We were able to snag a beautiful day to hike together before Uncle Glendon had to return to work. (this time scheduled for Houston, TX)
As you can see I am the only girl that made the hike. My bro Adam, Uncle Glendon, Matt and I were the true outdoors man today.

The look out points on our hike are so beautiful. We hiked six miles this day. The best parts always being on the ridge. The last three miles in the valley were more difficult, especially the hike up and out.

Here we are at greys arch and headed to make the lolly pop loop by courthouse rock and into the valley.

Matt is here explaining how his cool backpacking gear can filter that putrid water and make it drinkable. I don't know if Glendon can buy that idea.
Hard to see the arch across the way, but that is double arch. As it says it means there are two arches one  below and above.

The ability to scale Courthouse Rock is in all of us, but as you can see only one walked up to the challenge.
You have to wedge your body in the crack and push up. I don't think that making it down the same way would be what I can handle. I'm sure it is a beautiful view at the top.
This little guy enjoyed the show. He was content to stay here with all our crowding and touching.

The hike was perfect. Not too challenging for a then a twelve week pregnant woman. But there were several spots where I was too winded to talk. Matt and Glendon headed our little train and they were heard talking at a break neck speed for all to hear, but Adam and I in the back found it more enjoyable to conserve our oxygen for the hike. Kind of reminds me of one of the reasons opposites attract. Matt being the chatty one and most of the time, me not so much. Somebody has to be the listener. I guess my vows do not decipher if that listening is over and over the same things. :) ha ha

Gods world/creation is so beautiful. It was such a good day to be out among all of the wild blueberries, clear 70* skies and even a yummy pizza dinner on the patio.

Friday, August 23, 2013

12th Anniversary Trip

So sorry I forgot my camera on this trip, so there are a few pics from Matt's fancy iphone. 

Oddly in the spring I got this phone call that I won a free trip to Branson, Missouri. My brain was doing this speed search through all known ports of entry to think back to why this would possibly happen. Then the caller on the phone mentioned that I had entered a drawing in the Opry Mills Mall and they had drawn my name for this trip! 
If you have ever gone to Gatlinburg on a vacation you probably are as sceptical as I am about free trips and tickets. Sure enough my part of the deal was to listen to a presentation on vacation ownership at a resort down in Branson, and the free part was exactly that, part of the deal. 
We decided to take the offer. Spent a small fraction of a hotel fee and got three nights, one free dinner and one free show. Not bad I thought.
So Matt and I used this opportunity to take our annual anniversary trip on Summer Winds Resort. 

Riding hours on end in a vehicle is not my idea of fun and I behave badly just like a little kid. So Matt had a few ideas up his sleeve to appease his beautiful pregnant wife of twelve wonderful years. :)

Matt had loaded three books and favorite tunes on his fancy phone. So we had the choice of Silas Mariner, Sea Wolf or Bloodstream. You see we had discussed how we need to read the old classic books that we have on our shelves, thus the first two selections and then he threw in the latest thriller as an option (just in case). Silas we very hard to get into and we jumped right into the murder mystery thriller. Another help to the long trip is using his fancy phone to surf the world wide web and find a fun eatery for lunch. I know I keep referring to this iphone, but you see I am not a gadget girl, don't find pleasure in buying the newest and latest, but Matt finally talked me into letting him get one for "his business" and how helpful it will be and how much easier photo/email/work orders and on and on would be easier and better and would thus pay for itself. I have given him grief endlessly for this phone because he uses it for everything under the sun. And I do have to admit that I like his phone. It does make life and his work easier and he is better off for it.
Anyway....we found Blues City Cafe in Sait Louis (awsome city!). Fantastic Italian sandwiches and my half order could have fed three more people. Highly recommend this stop to anyone passing that way.

These were great distractions for me and made our eight hour trip more enjoyable.

Here is our cafe stop. This Thurs-Sun trip was a super hot part of our summer and all of our days were pushing 100* hot hot! But here is the 16week pregnant woman happily skipping to lunch.

 I thought for sure we had taken a photo together this trip but as you can see Matt has had the camera control. We had such a good few days all to ourselves.  Branson is not on our must return to list. Unless you plan on sitting at a ton of shows and your days full of shopping this would not be your cup of tea. It reminded Matt and I of Pigeon Forge. The bad part for us is that there was no Mountain or Park type of destination to hike and check out. Matt and I were not in the mood to go shopping and we did pick out two shows to see, but otherwise we were not waking up everyday jumping at the bit to see or do particular things here. We had a very slow paced trip, relaxed our three days and enjoyed our quite dinners and freedom with no children. Here I'm at a 5 and 10 store (an old fashion five and dime store ) bought the kids a little something. We saw Joseph at the sight and sound theater. Amazing! The best live christian performance we had ever seen. Really good. The murder mystery dinner was eh okay, very unprofessional. Felt more like a youth group put it on.
      Food was yummy everywhere. But when your not cooking for the night I am sure it was not hard to impress me. The joke of the weekend was that I didn't want to throw away my uneaten portion of dinner. So we had three boxes of food that we couldn't eat at the hotel fridge that still didn't get eaten by the time we left. but the option was there if is was needed, huh?
     We drove all around town, saw the Table Rock Lake damn and fish hatchery, played put put, went to the landing (awsome, best part with fire show and right off the river) went to an antique shop and yes sat through a three hour vacation presentation. Which ended with no purchase but yes another two night free stay at another destination for our trouble. So, yea taking the kids to the beach this fall on our free hotel voucher.

As you noticed I like stopping to break up long trips so we planned on stopping at Bass Pro Headquarters in Springfield find a cool lunch stop and happily found the largest rocking chair in the world along the way.

The outpost here was closed, it was suppose to be our cool stop, however we ended up at a Country Kitchen. (never been, but it was okay)

If you have never been to the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield you will not believe the scale of this store. Crazy, you cannot help but walk up to this thing with your mouth hanging open. 

This was the main entrance. The elk you see cast in brass on the far wall was about two stories tall. This picture does this entry no justice. It is like an outdoor museum. So cool! They had aquariums with alligators, gar fish, turtles and so much more. You just have to take your guy to see this.

We had  a great anniversary together and I am so blessed to have this companion love me and share an amazing life with me. Twelve years has spanned so many memories and experiences all of which improve on each other. One of the quotes that I yelled out at Matt in a fit of anger, but he won't let me forget is "you are the worst person in this world I could spend my life with." That is the single most regretful think I think I have ever said in my life, not only because at the time I know it was hurtful but it could also not be the farthest thing from the truth.
I know God has made Matt to be my perfect match and I couldn't be happier with any other person, or any wealth or perk that the world could offer. I am so thankful to God for my marriage to Matt. My life is only good because of God's relationship and leading. Matt is the lead I so love. With all my heart, happy twelfth anniversary Matthew Murphy!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pirate Party for a Buckaneer and a Princess

Here is my two precious birthday pirates!

Addie and Corbin share the same birthday month: April 7th Addie turned 4 and April 27th Corbin turned 6.  We have celebrated several birthdays for these two together. This is the first year that Corbin groaned about sharing a birthday with Addie. So we shall see what the future holds.

I was able to get some pics of the pirates.

The mustaches were so fun. We had a dress up table for the kids to add to their pirate costume as they liked. Girls could have a tutu and sword eye patches and makeup. Boys had the same but no tutu/ sashes and bandannas. I had made paper pirate hats as well, but they were hard to stay on while running and jumping off the plank.

We found this little pirate

who loved the sword

But adding the mustache was going too far. Maybe not a pirate after all...

Pirate games were first on the agenda. We had two pirate ships who found each other and broke out in a paper cannonball battle. (most of my ideas came from my best friend who did this for her sons sixth birthday party. Thanks Anna)

Some of the kids walked on the water to retrieve more cannonballs to throw. ha ha
The ship with the most cannonballs inside lost and had to walk the plank. We played a few times and the boys ended up walking the plank.
This game was the battle of the crew. Each pirate went in their own end of the stretchy tunnel and climbed over the other to reach the other side. The winner emerged first.

There were pirates of all sizes at our party. Fun fun!

Our Captain Hook game ended quickly. The parts broke too easily and these girl pirates waited for the next game.

The food was so much fun to make. We had these ice cream cupcakes, anchor sugar cookies, pretzel swords dipped in chocolate and our pirate cake.

Pintrest had great ideas for a pirate menu: popcorn cones, octopus dip, jello ships, salty island with dip, and goldfish.

We made our deck the ship. You can see our mast, wheel, and plank

I let Matt man the craft. We made paper boats for our races.

The boys went first but found their ships a bit more delicate that anticipated and most of them sunk.

So they played on the ship while the girls made their boats.

Captain Corbin calls, "All aboard."

The girls liked making the boats more than sailing them.

These two are such pals. So cute, Micah turned to Addie as they were watching kids play on the ship and walk the plank, and he said, "your dad can make anything, can't he?" Addies response. "of course."

Pirates or Princess' we haven't decided. Maybe a little of both.

See he just isn't a mustache guy.

Now the finale. Aunt Rebekah had written a pirate map with clues to find the treasure. The older kids jumped all over this and lead the way as they ran from clue to clue.

Others couldn't keep up and manned the ship in their absence.

So at last they found the treasure and we whacked it into submission.

Happy Birthday to our pirate and princess!

Princess Adaline and Princess Sarah

Princess' Melanie, Natalie, Sophie, and Adaline
opening presents...

Matthew trying to fill Eric's shoes with Tracey, Levi and Maggie (nicked named snow white)

Princess Adaline and Jillian

Now for the grizzly Pirates: Jansen and Corbin

Pirate Corbin and Tayden

Pirates Tayden, Corbin, Jansen, and Micah

Thanks for all the help with our Birthday party. Love our Aunts (here with Rebekah)

We had such a terrific time, Thanks to all our friends for coming to celebrate with us!